Marilee Pierce Dunker Shares History of World Vision in Taiwan: 40 Years Later, A Reunion of Love
Recently I received a letter from someone who had just read Man of Vision, the book I wrote about my family and the founding of World Vision and Samaritan's Purse. While the book celebrates the miracles God did through my dad's ministry, it is also very honest about the challenges and heartaches my family faced, in large part because my father traveled for ten months out of every year for twenty years.
There is no doubt that his long absences took a great toll on his health, put a strain on my parents' marriage, and left my sisters and I without the benefit of truly knowing our daddy. But the greatest tragedy of our lives was the sudden death of my older sister, Sharon, in 1968. She was only 27.
Moved with compassion by the revelations of God's mercy and grace in the midst of our human imperfections and struggles the reader wrote:
I hope God over the years has been able to heal and fill every place in your heart where your father's absence left a wound. I hope God has been able to bring peace to the losses you've carried, (especially) with the death of your sister.
I could have simply answered with a resounding "Yes! He has." But I felt the best way to reply was to share the following experience from my recent trip to Taiwan.
Connecting with the past
My father began supporting various missionary projects in Taiwan in the early 1950s, and in 1965 I traveled with him to see some of the children's homes, hospitals, and schools World Vision had helped build and was supporting. I had not been back to Taiwan since, and even though I knew that most of the things I remembered would be long gone, I asked to revisit some of those historic places.
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